Lauren Hilgers, the acclaimed journalist and author of Patriot Number One, dropped by to talk with the Read it Forward team about what she’s been reading lately.
In Patriot Number One, Hilgers tells the story of Zhuang Liehong—a political activist (who worked under the alias Patriot Number One), whom she met while in his tea shop in Wukan, China. Zhuang was happy to talk and gave her all the detail he could to ensure her reporting in the village went smoothly.
Two years later, Zhuang and his wife Little Yan showed up on Hilgers’ doorstep in New York City with almost no warning. Hilgers’ book chronicles the immigrant couple’s real-life journey through a byzantine network of employment agencies, language schools, asylum brokers, and illegal dormitories, all while struggling to pursue legal status and reunite with their son.
Hilgers’ recommendations—a memoir of living in China, a study of an international tragedy, and even a delightfully gossipy novel—explore cultural differences and the humanity behind every story. Watch the video below to hear all about them!